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The Champion

By ZainabAlam

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How it all began...

He stood overlooking the small town of Pallet, a cloak wrapped around him with a hood shrouding his face with darkness.

Mt. Silver was especially fierce at this time of the year. The wind howled and the blizzard made it impossible for anyone to see clearly. But it was no trouble for him. His gaze swept over Oak's Ranch, which was despairingly empty. His gaze continued to roam, until it landed on a small crater. It was cordoned off, local kids not going near it due to the rumours spread around that it was haunted by a woman and her Mr Mime.

A lone tear froze on his cheek, the chilly weather turning it into ice. A gloved hand reached up and batted it away impatiently.

Footsteps crunched against the snow as a petite woman walked up to the man. She too was bundled up in several layers, a cloak wrapped around her frame. Her eyes took in the lone man gazing over the town and she sighed, expelling hot breath out into the cold atmosphere.

"Honey you'll catch a cold out here, come on inside."

No reply. The male's position remained as it was. The female sighed.

"I've got some hot onion soup on the stove, just how you like it," the female tried again.

Success. The male turned slowly, his eyes taking in Pallet town once more before trudging down to the small wooden house, which has steam chugging out of its chimney. It was a homely site, a welcoming one against the harsh weather on the mountain.

The door closed gently as both humans stamped their boots and discarded their cloaks on the wooden pole that was stood next to the door in a corner. The woman hummed under her breath as she ladled out two bowls of soup, one for herself and her companion, and sliced a freshly baked loaf up. She placed the bread in the centre of the table before placing a bowl of hot steaming soup in front of the male and one in front of herself.

"How's Alex?"

"He's sleeping, after fussing for his father," the woman said shooting a disapproving look at the male.

"I'll check in on him after dinner," the male said, shrinking back from his female companion.

There was silence for the next few minutes except for the clatter of spoons against bowls. The male pushed back and stretched once he had finished his soup. He scooped up the dirty dishes and placed them in a bowl of soapy water for soaking.

"That was lovely dinner honey," he said as he pressed a kiss to the woman's cheek.

"You are such a charmer, but don't expect me to reciprocate unless you give our son a big cuddle from daddy," the woman said as she pushed him to the door of a nursery.

He entered the room to see his son, 10 months of age, lying in a crib which was set against the far wall. The curtains were all closed, and there was a soft glow coming from a night lamp. A changing table was laden with powders and nappies, and a wardrobe stood opposite the crib. There were glow-in-the-dark stars adorning the ceiling and a rocking chair was set next to the crib.

He approached the crib to see his son awake and smiling up at him. He raised his arms up to his daddy, who smiled back and lifted him up with ease into his arms.

"Hey there buddy. How've you been? I hope you've been good for mummy," the male said as he sat in the rocking chair. His son babbled gently back.

"I'm sorry I was not there to tuck you in, but it was the death anniversary of granny. I know you never met her but she was the most amazing woman ever," the male said closing his eyes as the memories washed over him, "she would have loved you to bits. She always used to have this aura about her a mother aura. She would have doted on you, and knitted all these little booties and gloves for you."

He paused and glanced at his son, who was fast asleep again. He smiled and pressed a kiss to his forehead before tucking him back in.

Tiptoeing across the room, he closed the door gently behind and turned to come face to face with the face of his companion, who looked at him with understanding.

"Oh honey, come here," she said and embraced him close, which he grieved for his mother.

"Thanks for that," he said.

"No problem. Just remember that I will always be here for you," she said.

They embraced again, taking comfort in each other's arms.

"I love you Mrs Ketchum."

"I love you too Mr Ketchum."

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